Writing Great Recruiting Emails Starts with Better Job Postings

Let’s face it. Most recruiting emails suck. In fact, they suck so bad some of them look like they came straight from The Onion.

Unfortunately, this isn’t anything new. This problem has existed forever – since the birth of recruiting emails – and not much has changed since then. Sure, we tried to fix things with automation, but the more automation we add, the worse things get. That’s right – the automation you think is making your emails better? Is actually making most of them worse.

This shit makes us all look bad. Recruiters. Companies. Everyone involved in this industry. And on top of that? It makes recruiting in general even harder, because your emails can’t get through to even the best candidates. Candidates are receiving thousands of messages every single day – and instead of standing out, you’re likely getting deleted or sent to spam. 

So how are you supposed to stand out?

We were told a lot of lies about how recruiting emails should be written. How they should sound. What they should say. My least favorite is that instead of sounding like yourself, you should use a robotic, “professional” tone.

My other favorite? Grammar and spelling errors don’t matter. Clearly these things do matter, especially if you don’t want to sound like a spambot more than recruiting emails already do.

Truth: candidates don’t want to discuss their careers with robots, they want to talk to humans. They don’t like bad grammar either. We have been made to believe that people are dying to work for us, but that’s just not the case – especially not now. We’ve been told that people don’t want to hear from a recruiter, but the fact is that if you’re selling a good opportunity, of course people will want to hear from you. And guess what? That’s whether they’ve just started a new gig or not. 

None of the things we were told about recruiting emails have been true. So why are we still writing them the same way?

Writing better recruiting emails isn’t as hard as you think.

Let’s be honest. Most people let their recruiting emails suck. They claim they don’t have enough time, but it’s not that hard to optimize your time if you start off by writing a better job posting. Fact: you can use that as a large chunk of your recruiting email itself.

Yes, I just provided you with the ultimate recruiting email life hack. You’re welcome.

Start off by including the job pitch in the email, as well as adding in a few details that personalize it in some way – maybe the location of the candidate, a particular experience they have that matches up, or something that stood out on their LinkedIn profile. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just something that lets candidates know you took the time to consider them a human rather than just another name.

A good job pitch includes 3 things:

  • Impact. How a candidate will impact the company once hired. You aren’t going around hiring people just for fun. There’s a reason you’re hiring for this position, and reaching out to them in particular. (Example: As our customer service rep, you will be the first face people see when they need help.)
  • Everyday activities. Quite literally, include a list of activities a candidate will be performing on a day to day basis. Be honest about it, too. No need to sugarcoat – we want candidates to know what they’re in for, especially if there are tasks they’re going to enjoy.
  • Minimum qualifications. Somewhere along the way, we really effed up what the word “minimum” means. Let me be clear: minimum qualifications are things you can’t even Google to find out. Minimum qualifications mean you need education – these are things you need to have learned in school, not basics even a kid can become familiar with by doing some Wikipedia reading.

If you include all 3 of those things in your recruiting emails, you’ll be able to really sell the role. Even better, people will actually respond when they feel like a human is the one emailing them, someone who has taken the time to understand why a role is right for the candidate they’re reaching out to. 

Writing better recruiting emails is a bonus that comes along with writing better job postings. That’s right – you write a better job posting one time, and suddenly you’re getting perks all over the place – better candidates, better hiring process, better recruiting emails…

Of course I can teach you how to write a better recruiting email and job posting.

I’m glad you asked.

One of the new trainings we’re offering this year combines great job posts with better email writing. In two 1.5 hour workshops, I’ll personally teach your team what I know about great subject lines, recruiting emails, and better job postings.

And as an added bonus? We’ll tailor the content to your team – that’s right, each training will be personalized just for you and your team’s needs and concerns. Book a meeting here and let’s talk about how we can make sure your recruiting emails are driving the impact you need in recruiting this year.

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Kat Kibben View All →

Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.

Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.

Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.

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